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These are the ambient social apps competing for SoLoMo dominance

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Sonar is yet another SoLoMo app that’s been gaining popularity under the radar. Sonar came to SXSW with some updates to show off, which included its new Android availability and focus on relevant users in your area (how many of your friends another user knows and interests you share).

Pros: Sonar leverages contacts from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Foursquare, whereas most competitors only use one or two of these networks. It means you have a larger pool of people to pull from, so you’re likely to see more activity. It also has a feature that its competitors don’t include: a focus on places in addition to people. Sonar takes into account what areas are particularly active, so if friends and friends-of-friends are all at a handful of venues, you’ll know about it. It’s all a little more orderly than we saw in other apps, showing you how many connections and interests you had with a person and where they came from.

sonarCons: Pulling from a large pool is good and bad – bad because it means you might not have as high quality of potential connections (some of us follow people or handles on Twitter we’d never want to see in person, for instance), so you could waste time dealing with this. Also, the fact that Sonar piggybacks on other social networks means it might be awkward to actually use the app to meet people. With Highlight and Glancee, everyone using it has opted in and knows if they’re using the app how people can find them. With Sonar, you’re just seeing check-ins from outside sites, so connecting with someone isn’t as natural. Unfortunately, Sonar is based off Foursquare information, so anyone without that won’t really be interested in this app. 

Best if… : You’re a Foursquare addict who loves the check-in; an event or location is a big part (just as big as the people there) of the experience for you. 

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